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Wycliffe, JohnEcclesiastes (Wycliffe, 1395) (September 18, 2011)

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LibriVox recording of Ecclesiastes (1395) translated by John Wycliffe. Read by Martin Geeson.

“... an alemaunde tre schal floure, a locuste schal be maad fat, and capparis schal be distried; for a man schal go in to the hous of his euerlastyngnesse...” - Eccl. xii, 5 (see Note below).

Traditionally composed by Solomon sometime around 950-970 BCE but dated on linguistic evidence somewhere in the third century, this meditation on the futility of mankind’s striving can bring comfort to those of firm or fragile faith, or of no faith at all. The text used here is a revision of Wycliffe's original translation, made by his follower John Purvey in the mid-1390s. Wycliffe's chapter divisions in some cases differ from those of later versions (the King James, for example).

The Preacher, in his musings on the human condition, enlivens his melancholy observations with flashes of angry despair, resentment and even grim humour, all powerfully conveyed by Wycliffe’s translation.

Note: The King James Version avoids a direct reference to the aphrodisiac qualities of capparis (caper-berries) in its rendering: “the Almond tree shall flourish, and the grashopper shall be a burden, and desire shall faile...” (Introduction by Martin Geeson)

For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.

For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.

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This audio is part of the collection: The LibriVox Free Audiobook Collection
It also belongs to collection: Audio Books & Poetry

Artist/Composer: Wycliffe, John
Date: 2011-09-18
Source: Librivox recording of a public-domain text
Keywords: librivox; literature; audiobook; ecclesiastes; wycliffe; middle english

Creative Commons license: Public Domain Mark 1.0


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01 - Chapter 1 4.2 MB 
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02 - Chapter 2 6.6 MB 
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03 - Chapter 3 4.6 MB 
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04 - Chapter 4 6.1 MB 
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05 - Chapter 5 2.9 MB 
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06 - Chapter 6 3.2 MB 
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07 - Chapter 7 6.0 MB 
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08 - Chapter 8 4.3 MB 
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09 - Chapter 9 5.3 MB 
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10 - Chapter 10 4.1 MB 
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11 - Chapter 11 2.8 MB 
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12 - Chapter 12 4.2 MB 
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